“…a great novel by a first-time author is still what most of us are searching for. ” -Liz Parker
Every year, the Writers’ League of Texas brings a faculty of close to thirty agents, editors, and other industry professionals to Austin for its Agents & Editors Conference. As we look ahead to the 28th Annual A&E Conference, taking place September 17-19, 2021, we’re happy to share Q&As with some of our faculty here.
An Interview with Liz Parker
Liz Parker heads up the publishing department at Verve Talent & Literary, an agency based in Los Angeles, CA. She represents upmarket and literary fiction, horror, select YA, as well as memoir, sociopolitical, narrative and platform-driven nonfiction. Liz began her career in editorial, serving as an editorial assistant at Viking/Penguin, and ultimately as the publishing director at Counterpoint and Soft Skull Press. She was a scout with Maria B. Campbell Associates, and spent three years with InkWell Management before joining Verve Talent & Literary in April 2018. She’s an avid reader of the beach read, of novels that make her think, and of any unheard voices demanding to be heard. Liz is also the author of ALL ARE WELCOME (Lake Union Press, August 2021).
Scribe: How would you describe your personal approach to working with an author?
Liz Parker: Hands-on, strategic, editorially-minded; I like to take someone’s five-year goal and work backwards until we have a plan to reach that goal.
Scribe: What do you look for in a debut author?
LP: Great writing and a solid handle on where they fit in the market (this applies to both fiction and nonfiction).
Scribe: What’s one piece of advice you find yourself giving to others time and time again?
LP: Understand the value of comp titles; if a network is who you know, a platform is who knows you; don’t write a book in a category you don’t actually read.
Scribe: What excites you the most about the publishing industry today?
LP: The fact that a great novel by a first-time author is still what most of us are searching for.
Scribe: Tell us about a recent book/project that you worked on that excited you and want everyone to know about?
LP: I’ve been having tremendous success with writers from the horror sub-Reddit called NoSleep. In the past few months we’ve transitioned four different writers into significant publishing deals, often with a film sale attached. The first, MY WIFE AND I BOUGHT A RANCH by Harrison and Matt Query, is forthcoming from Grand Central next Spring.
Click here for more information on the 2021 Agents & Editors Conference, a weekend long event in Austin, TX (September 17-19) that focuses on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and building a literary community.